8am Update: Hurricane Irma is hitting Cuba with 130 MPH winds

 

At 800 AM EDT (1200 UTC), the eye of Hurricane Irma was located by a reconnaissance plane and Cuban radars near latitude 22.6 North, longitude 79.5 West. Irma is moving toward the west near 12 mph (19 km/h), along the north coast of Cuba. A northwest motion is expected to begin later today with a turn toward the north-northwest tonight or on Sunday.  On the forecast track, the core of Irma will continue to move near or over the north coast of Cuba this morning, and will reach the Florida Keys Sunday morning. The hurricane is expected to be near the southwest coast of Florida Sunday afternoon.The interaction with the terrain of Cuba has weakened the hurricane a little.  Maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 130 mph (215 km/h) with higher gusts, but Irma remains a category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Irma is forecast to restrengthen once it moves away from Cuba, and Irma is expected to remain a powerful hurricane as it approaches Florida.Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 70 miles (110 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 195 miles (315 km).The minimum central pressure reported by a reconnaissance plane was 937 mb (27.67 inches).

Denis Davis

Denis Davis

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